…IDPs lack food,clothe and shelter – chieftains
By Ibrahim HassanWuyo
Fulani chieftains who converged on Kaduna have alleged that the crisis in Southern Kaduna left 3,099 of their kinsmen as internally displaced persons, IDPs.
“The crisis has created human tragedy. Surviving victims are living in very precarious situation having lost food, crops, clothing, shelter and other domestic valuables,” they said.
Among the Fulani chieftains who met in Kaduna on Friday, were Alhaji HarunaTugga, Chairman MACBAN, Kaduna State, Ardo Idris Gundaru ,
Chairman, Kaduna state, GAFDAN, Barr Nuhu Ibrahim ,Secretary General, Kaduna state, MOFDA ,Abbas J. Julde ,Chairman, Kaduna State, BAFYAN, and Barr. Abubakar Ibrahim Naseh Coordinator, FUDECO Kaduna State Chapter, among others.
While addressing journalists after their meeting at the Arewa House Kaduna, Barr.Nuhu Ibrahim said they were shocked over SOKAPU’s endorsement of the killing of 99 persons, massive burning and displacements of pastoralists in parts of Zangon Kataf and Kauru Local Government Areas of Kaduna State.
According to the Fulani chieftains, “our Associations are shocked, and bewildered by the text of a Press Statement issued by National Public Relations Officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) on 30th June, 2020.”
“In the Press Statement, SOKAPU expressed tacit support and endorsement of the brutal acts of murder and arson committed by some Atyap youths in Atyap and Tsam Chiefdoms of Zangon Kataf and Kauru LGA that led to killing of 99 Fulani persons, the disappearance of another 139 persons and the looting and burning of 290 houses.”
“In the course of the arson, 429 livestock were killed while some 4009 livestock are still missing, possibly rustled by the Atyap youths. The above figures were based on investigations as at 17th June 2020. SOKAPU need to come out and explain to the victims of the atrocities of their members how a peaceful protest over alleged farm boundaries could lead to these brutal actions.”
” If SOKAPU’s claim that the peaceful protest was brutally suppressed by security men, we wonder why it took the vocal and politically charged Organisation this long to make public its position. In the past, SOKAPU is well known for spreading rumours and falsehoods of attacks and wondered why this time around, it waited for 19days before making its claims of “brutal suppression of peaceful protest,” they said.
They explained that another blatant and deliberate misrepresentation of facts was the insinuation that the current dusk to dawn curfew in the two affected Chiefdoms was the outcome of the 17th June 2020 press conference by “five Fulani groups that was loaded with “very provocative, inciting and libelous statements.
“It is common knowledge that the Curfew was imposed by the State Government on the 11th of June following the violent attacks by SOKAPU members on innocent Fulani pastoralist’s families.”
“By describing the press conference of our organizations that provided an accurate and factual account of the atrocities committed by the Atyap youths as “very provocative, inciting and libelous statements”, reflects the total disregard to the sanctity of life, respect for diversity and commitment to the rule of Law by SOKAPU and its members. The position of SOKAPU on the current and previous crisis that has bedeviled the area and by extension other parts of the Southern Senatorial Zone explains why peaceful and harmonious coexistence has eluded the areas. ”
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‘We wish to reiterate the fact that on 11th, 12th and 13th June, 2020, Atyap youths willfully, without any form of provocation, attacked Fulani people’s houses in 11 villages of Atyap Chiefdom in ZangonKataf and 2 villages in Tsam Chiefdom of Kauru LGA. The youths, supported by elders and women in some instances, moved from house to house, killing, looting and burning. In addition, the Atyap youths also blocked the road from Samaru to Saminaka and killed any Muslim passer-by they could identify. Furthermore, they blocked, killed and confiscated livestock from many migrating Fulani pastoralists within the affected areas. ”
“We wish to use this opportunity to update you on the fatalities suffered by the Fulani communities from this gruesome incidence. After several rescue and search efforts some of the pastoralists and their animals that were earlier declared missing have been confirmed killed, as others have resurfaced alive and have reunited with their families. Specifically, the death of two more indigenous Fulani persons and five other Fulani pastoralists on migration have been confirmed.
“Therefore, the total number of Fulani pastoralists now confirmed killed during the attacks is 99. 17 out of the hitherto reported missing persons are alive while there are still 122 missing persons. It is on a sad note that we are gradually concluding that these 122 persons have also been killed and their bodies dismembered to hide the grievous crime. ”
“Regarding livestock, 19 of the cows declared missing have been confirmed killed bringing the total number of cows killed in the attacks to 448. Some 1,067 of the previously declared missing cows have resurfaced alive and handed back to their owners. The total number of cows still missing 2,923, excluding sheep, goats and poultry.”
“The crisis has created human tragedy. Surviving victims are living in very precarious situation having lost food, crops, clothing, shelter and other domestic valuables.”
“The survivors are now internally displaced persons surviving on the goodwill of relations and well-meaning Nigerians. Our organizations have documented a total of 3,099 internally displaced persons including the aged, women and children and the villages/towns where they are living.”
“We equally urge the government and security agencies to disregard any blackmail by SOKAPU and its collaborators by intensifying efforts at restoration of peace and stability in the affected areas. We continue to demand for investigation, arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the violence. Many of the survivors know the killers of their kit and kin very well. Some of the traditional and community leaders that aided the violence are known to the victims, and we also believe in the intelligence agencies. We demand that they are arrested and prosecuted. ”
“We also demand that full compensation be paid to the victims for lives, material damages and infringements of rights by those institutions and organs of Government that ought to protect them. ”
“We demand that all the surviving victims be properly resettled and their houses rebuilt. The usual practice of allowing Fulani communities that are victims of deliberate and unprovoked violence to suffer their fate needs to end. ”
“While we note the action of the Kaduna State Government thus far, we lament the inadequate deployment of humanitarian assistance to the victims. What was provided by the Zangon Kataf LGA was just a cosmetic window dressing that couldn’t meet a single day’s food needs of the internally displaced persons living in Urban Zango alone. ”
The Fulani chieftains appealed to individuals and organizations in Kaduna State to come to the aid of the victims of the violence.
“Furthermore, we call on all peace loving communities in the Southern Senatorial Zone to foster stronger collaboration to defeat the agents of distabilisation and ethnic chauvinist by working together to promote peace, social harmony and progressive development. We are committed to playing our part in this noble initiative,” they said.